A letter asking “non-working parents” to pick up their children from an Australian childcare facility earlier than those employed is dividing the internet, with many unsure if the request is reasonable or discriminatory.
An image of the letter was shared on Facebook by a parent whose child attends the unidentified facility and begins, “If you are a non-working parent you are required to pick your child up from Preschool at 4:00pm. ”
The facility operator went on to state that the disregard of the rule was affecting the workers and was costing huge amounts in overtime being paid.
Image via iStock.
Clearly frustrated by the request, the parent asked, "What would you do if you were a SAHM (stay-at-home mum) and asked to pick your child up earlier because they didn't have staff, or didn't want to pay overtime to staff? Is this reasonable or discrimination?"
Speaking to Mamamia about the letter, childcare worker Sarah Hall says she can see it from both sides. "On one hand, if you're paying for a day, I think you should be allowed to keep the child there for as long as you need and the centre is open because often you're just trying to get everything done and there aren't enough hours.
"But on the other hand," the NSW mum-of-one continued, "it can be a really long day for the child if they are there from the time the centre opens until it closes. But in terms of having enough workers on, that's just a matter of rostering staff properly and staggering the start and finish hours."
The letter sent to parents. Source: Facebook.
At first, commenters agreed with the poster, reasoning, "If you pay for a full day of child care you should be entitled to that full day regardless of what you are doing, they should not be dictating specific times you have to pick up your child based on what they think you should be doing with your time."
Another Facebook user commented, "Since when is a parent who stays at home considered to be "not working"... They usually keep the house, run all errands, deal with appoints etc etc etc etc etc & are "on call" 24/7... Still not sure how this is considered "not working.""
Others, however, found logic in the request, commenting, "I don't find it offensive and I don't think it's discrimination, if I wasn't working I would be happy to pick up my kid when they suggested."
Image via iStock.
Another parent agreed, saying, "Totally agree! If you're not working there's no reason your child shouldn't be picked up by 4pm latest."
Irrespective of how parents feel, the facility operator's position is firm.
"As of Monday 17th October 2016 if you are late in picking up your child a late fee will be applied to your account. This will cover the costs of the overtime I have to pay to staff," the letter ends.